Tuesday 25 June 2024

Friends and Family Concert 23 June 2024


And didn’t we have fun.

“So we have an audience?”

We’re in the car park and it’s warm enough for us to get out of our cars and chat.

A few choir members and a few of our audience have arrived early because there was a little worry that the carnival at Prestwich might have held up the traffic. It didn’t. By 2.45 pm a solid choir and a very respectable audience have already assembled.

And there is plenty of cake. There is a mountain of cake. Making and eating cake is our second best activity after enjoying our singing.

This so reminds me of the Koffikonzerts I used to attend when we lived in Holland. You paid the price of a coffee and a slice of cake – usually apple cake in that case – and you got the coffee and cake as well as a very good concert.

So, £5.00 not bad for a brew, some cake and a concert?

The emphasis is on “friends and family” and it is all very relaxed.

We work through our repertoire which contains some old favourites like The Water is Wide, I Say a Little Prayer and Love is the Sweetest Thing. And there are also newer items such as Why Walk if You Can Fly, Make You Feel My love and O Earth Loving Mother. Of course we also think of nature with Cool Moon and Colours of the Wind.

Jeff tells our audience that we’re going to sing a couple of songs that might touch our troubled world.  “It probably won’t make any difference to what you hear on the news,” he says. “But we hope it will do something.” 

So, we also sing Deep Peace and Grant Us Peace. Both the door to the Studio and the outer door are open. Are these songs going out into the world? Will they make a difference?  

An hour slips by without us noticing.

Our audience is lovely. It’s good to chat to them afterwards. Some of us are curious about how much people might enjoy listening to a choir like ours. We enjoy singing and I do like watching and listening to other choirs but part of the enjoyment of that comes from knowing what the process is.

“You get better every time,” says one of our visitors.  We hope we do; it’s what we aim for.

Their daughter, one of our altos, rolls her eyes and says “They say that every time.”

“I think they mean it though,” I reply.

We are very pleased with the GoChurch studio as a place to rehearse and perform. It was such a fun concert.

And so what’s up next?

Buxton of course. Shall we see you there?    


Tuesday 18 June 2024

We Invented the Weekend 2024



Sunday 16 June found us once more down at the Salford Quays, helping to celebrate one of Salford’s achievements.

The weekend was invented in Greater Manchester in 1843 when Salford Lyceum Director and workers’ rights activist Robert Lowes (also Sir Ian McKellen’s Great Grandfather) campaigned to win workers the right to leisure time on Saturday afternoons.

So there we were, on Sunday afternoon celebrating with hundreds, maybe thousands of other people, despite a miserable summer. There were so many activities to choose from.

“We’ll only do songs we’re confident with,” said Jeff.

So that’s what we did. We did include a newish one, Make You Feel My Love.

We performed at 15.25. I’d actually been on the Quays since 11.30, on other business, and I chatted to a lady form Age UK as we listened to another choir.

“Do you do rock numbers like this?” she asked.  Well, yes we do. See above. But we do all sorts of other things as well. I realised as we chatted that that is one of the things we appreciate – the variety in what we do.

We had an appreciative audience.

Jeff pointed out where we rehearse a couple of times. “You can almost see it from here,” he said. Yes you could. Go Church, where we rehearse is perhaps ten minutes away if you walk slowly.

We gave out some leaflets. Will we have more opportunities to sing or gain new members?

It was a squeeze on the stage but we did have mics. Having seen another choir about the same size as ours earlier in the day I was able to reassure people that it would work.

The weather in the end was kind. Although it pelted down as I changed from bus to tram in Whitefield, as my tram drew in at Media City the sun came out and pretty well stayed out. Although the breeze remained cool there was a hint of summer in the afternoon.  In fact for us that is probably better than it being too hot.

And it was nice enough to enjoy outside a beverage from the Seven Brothers’ Stand. Seven Brothers is another Salford success. A drink always tastes better after an enjoyable performance.

Next up: our concert on 23 June. Will you be there?